I work for a toy company and we are always watching what's happening in Denmark, mostly because there is such a rich history of play there, spurred on by a little company called Lego. Toys aren't the only innovations they're making. There's something so wonderful happening in the world of business education in Denmark that it almost makes me want to go start my own b-school based on this model.
On one of the Business Week blogs, I learned about Anne Kirah and the 180°academy, a business school that seeks to mesh creative thinking, design, and business in one curriculum. Kirah is convinced that this approach will help keep the Danish economy in tip top competitive shape. And Kirah is very convincing.
The 180°academy's goal is simple: innovation. She argues that doing what we know best won't help us be better tomorrow. The whole idea is to break people of their comfort zones so that they can be comfortable anywhere in any situation. Kirah herself is an anthropologist by training, and as such is incredibly focused on human behavior patterns and cultural shifts. Best of all, she is able to apply what she's observing in order to monetize it to a business's advantage.
The school has corporate buy-in at the very highest levels. They believe in value of foreign immersion throughout the education process. For about half the cost of an American education and asks the each student commit to conducting an innovation project at their employer using all of the tools taught to them in the program. Kirah is concerned with having a complete mash-up for a student body and a faculty. She believes in bringing together as diverse a population as possible in order to have them draw on one another's talents.
Very simply, Kirah is changing the paradigm of business school education. She is innovating to the extreme. She thinks different and as a result, may help all of us in business think different.
Take a look at the full article: http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/dec2007/id2007125_072960.htm?chan=innovation_innovation+%2B+design_innovation+strategy